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Open Standards Organizations

The following sections briefly review some of the standards organizations and their open standards that are currently being developed, discussed, or implemented. This is just a sample of the main standards organizations and the important work that they're doing. Many governments are now developing national policies to promote the use of open standards—examples include China, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. It's up to the United States to continue to lead this initiative into the future.


Many of these brief descriptions are drawn from the sites of the organizations. Links are provided for further information.

Distributed Management Task Force, Inc.

The Distributed Management Task Force, Inc. (DMTF) is the industry organization that is leading the development, adoption, and unification of management standards and initiatives for desktop, enterprise, and Internet environments.

The Common Information Model (CIM) is the DMTF's standardized model for describing overall management information in a network/enterprise environment. CIM is composed of a specification, which defines the details for integration with other management models; and a schema, which provides the actual model descriptions.

Internet Engineering Task Force

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.

The IETF's Policy Core Information Model (RFC 3060) is the open standard that presents the object-oriented information model for representing policy information developed jointly in the IETF Policy Framework workgroup and as extensions to CIM activity in the DMTF. This model defines two hierarchies of object classes: structural classes, representing policy information and control of policies; and association classes, which indicate how instances of the structural classes are related to each other.

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is an application-layer protocol that facilitates the exchange of management information between network devices. It's part of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite. SNMP enables network administrators to manage network performance, find and solve network problems, and plan for network growth.

Two versions of SNMP exist: SNMP version 1 (SNMPv1) and SNMP version 2 (SNMPv2). Both versions have a number of features in common, but SNMPv2 offers enhancements, such as additional protocol operations.

Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) is a not-for-profit global consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts.

OASIS produces worldwide standards for security, web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps, and interoperability within and between marketplaces.

Web Services Security (WSS) describes enhancements to SOAP messaging in order to provide quality of protection through message integrity and single-message authentication. These mechanisms can be used to accommodate a wide variety of security models and encryption technologies.

Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) is a standard way of using web services architecture and technology to manage distributed resources.

Java Community Process

The Java Community Process is an open organization of international Java developers and licensees whose charter is to develop and revise Java technology specifications, reference implementations, and technology compatibility kits.

The Java Management Extensions (JSR 3, JMX) open specification will provide a management architecture, APIs, and services for building web-based, distributed, dynamic, and modular solutions to manage Java-enabled resources. JMX technology provides tools for building distributed, web-based, modular, and dynamic solutions for managing and monitoring devices, applications, and service-driven networks.

The Logging API Specification (JSR 47) is a specification for logging APIs within the Java platform. These APIs will be suitable for logging events from within the Java platform and from within Java applications.

The Java Agent Services (JSR 87) are a set of objects and service interfaces to support the deployment and operation of autonomous communicative agents. The specification is based on the Abstract Architecture developed by the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA). This Abstract Architecture defines how agents can register and discover each other, and how agents interact by exchanging intentional messages that are grounded in speech-act theory and first-order predicate logic.

The Portlet Specification (JSR 168), to enable interoperability between portlets and portals, will define a set of APIs for portal computing, addressing the areas of aggregation, personalization, presentation, and security.

Storage Networking Industry Association

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is a registered standards and nonprofit trade association dedicated to ensuring that storage networks become complete and trusted solutions across the IT community.

The Bluefin Specification will allow IT managers to connect multiple vendors' products into a storage area network (SAN) and manage them all with a common set of tools. HP and IBM continue to support Bluefin in SNIA, most recently participating in a breakthrough demonstration of heterogeneous SAN management using Bluefin technology.

Global Grid Forum

Global Grid Forum (GGF) is a community-initiated forum of more than 5,000 individual researchers and practitioners working on distributed computing (grid) technologies. GGF's primary objective is to promote and support the development, deployment, and implementation of grid technologies and applications via the creation and documentation of "best practices"—technical specifications, user experiences, and implementation guidelines.

Grid technologies provide the foundation for a number of large-scale efforts utilizing the global Internet to build distributed computing and communications infrastructures. As common grid services and interoperable components emerge, the difficulty in undertaking these large-scale efforts will be greatly reduced and, as importantly, the resulting systems will better support interoperation.

Open Grid Services Architecture

Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) is a grid-computing initiative. The purpose of the OGSA Working Group is to achieve an integrated approach to future OGSA service development via the documentation of requirements, functionalities, priorities, and interrelationships for OGSA services. The output of this group will be an OGSA architecture roadmap document that defines, scopes, and outlines requirements for key services.

Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI) is another important grid-related initiative. The objective of the OGSI Working Group is to review and refine the OGSI specification and other documents that derive from this specification, including OGSA infrastructure–related technical specifications and supporting informational documents. In this specification, an attempt is made to define the minimal, integrated set of extensions and interfaces necessary to support definition of the services that will compose OGSA.

The Open Group

The Open Group is a non-profit consortium focusing on best practices and process-based XML content for e-business and application integration.

Open Applications Group

The mission of the Open Applications Group is to define and encourage the adoption of a unifying standard for e-business and application software interoperability that reduces customer cost and time to deploy solutions.

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